Warren Tax Plan Could Give Foreign Investors an Advantage

The raft of investment taxes that Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren plans to levy to pay for her social programs would advantage foreign investors, a side effect that would run counter to her goal, shared with President Trump, of lowering the trade deficit.

To pay for "Medicare for all" and other major new government benefits, Warren would radically increase taxes on investments made by rich taxpayers, including through a major new wealth tax.

By taxing American investors, Warren would give a boost to foreign investors looking to buy U.S. assets — stocks, real estate, and so on. The spike in foreign investment would also entail an increase in the trade deficit.

"Foreign ownership of American companies accrues benefits to foreigners," said Ric Edelman, a top wealth adviser for rich individuals.

"This weakens the strength of Americans in terms of global dominance and interferes with the ability of ordinary Americans to save and invest for the future."

To the extent that Warren's tax plan privileges foreign investors, "the trade deficit will go up and a greater share of American assets will be owned by those in other countries like China, Germany,” said Kyle Pomerleau, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-of-center think tank.

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